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Cyprus

Municipal reform ‘won’t work’ say mayors

The new bill outlines a reduction in the number of municipal councilors and is designed to cut administrative costs

THERE are serious constitutional and legal issues surrounding the Cabinet approved bill reforming local governance, according to the Union of Cyprus Municipalities.

Following an extraordinary meeting on Friday, it said the bill could not be used as a base to enact the troika requested change as part of the bailout plan as it is not backed up by any technical and financial feasibility studies.

Seeking to meet with political party leaders as soon as possible, the union also outlined that the bill does not actually reduce the number of municipalities but rather minimises their authority, increasing central government’s ability to “intervene and control”.

It also fails in improving the services provided to citizens and has no provisions in improving local authorities’ financial independence, it said.

The bill was approved by the cabinet and submitted to parliament in July. It will be discussed in parliament after the summer break, while the government wants it passed before the end of the year.

It outlines a reduction in the number of municipal councilors and is designed to cut administrative costs through a clustering of services and a reduction in the payroll.

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